Speak-to-Write from Multiple Perspectives, as Method


  • Nina Sun Eidsheim UCLA
  • Juliette Bellocq


One of the practice-based research methods that excites me the most today is to work with writing as a practice, and as a practice-based research method. The technology of writing can be very misleading, especially when that writing is typed using a word processing program. When using this tool, writing looks the same whether it represents a stream of consciousness, a first draft, or a final proof. Because of this, I have found that I hold myself to the standard of the final version, which of course completely freezes me up. If we are always aiming for the final version, there is not much room for thinking, making errors, going sideways and backward and forward again. There is only the guaranteed feeling of failure.

In response, graphic designer Juliette Bellocq and I have developed a set of writing exercises that address these two limitations, as I have come to know writing from my training as an academic. In this piece, we share our exercise, 1,000 Ways Home. It is a non-linear process of thinking and writing. It also offers the alchemy of communicating in the presence of another person who pays close attention. We call our process speak-to-write.

Author Biographies

Nina Sun Eidsheim, UCLA

Nina Sun Eidsheim has written about voice, race, and materiality, including the books Sensing Sound: Singing and Listening as Vibrational Practice and The Race of Sound: Listening, Timbre, and Vocality in African American Music. She is Professor of Musicology at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is also a vocalist and the founder and director of the UCLA Practice-based Experimental Epistemology Research (PEER) Lab, an experimental research Lab dedicated to decolonializing data, methodology, and analysis, in and through multisensory creative practices.

Juliette Bellocq

Juliette Bellocq is a designer collaborating on diverse projects for paper, screen and space. Her studio, Handbuilt, specializes in work for artistic, cultural, educational and civic work, partnering with diverse groups to engaging and advance communities. In addition, Juliette is part of Project Food LA, a collective seeking to propose alternative nutrition choices to underserved communities. Her work has been recognized by the AIGA, Graphis, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.